Different population groups face unique health challenges, underscoring the importance of personalized treatment at all care levels. A new study reveals that personalizing the treatment to the specific characteristics of gastric cancer patients can improve their survival rates.
Treatments for gastric cancer are currently customized based on tumor type, but their efficacy can differ among individuals. The Legacy study, conducted in collaboration with specialists from Mexico's National Institute of Cancerology, delved into the genetic characteristics and microbial associations of gastric cancer. The study uncovered that gastric cancer tends to be more aggressive in individuals living in Latin America when compared to those in the EU. This increased aggressiveness is linked to lifestyle factors, like unhealthy eating patterns, lack of physical activity, obesity and being overweight.
“Worldwide, cancer and chronic diseases are growing, leading us to conclude that there is a correlation between complex diagnostics and chronic diseases. These diseases have skyrocketed in Latin America,” José Solis-Padilla, Executive Director Americas, Mayo Clinic, tells MBN.
Early detection is crucial for achieving a high survival rate in advanced stages of the disease, however, an essential challenge that must be overcome is the lack of information among the population. As per the survey conducted as part of the study, 80% of individuals with a middle-level education reported being unaware of this disease. This has resulted in self-medication, which can have serious consequences for health and safety. It is essential that patients consult a healthcare professional before taking any medication to avoid adverse health effects.
Gastric cancer was the fifth most common cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide in 2020. During the same year, the disease saw about 1.1 million new cases and an estimated 770,000 fatalities, as reported by The Lancet. Mexico has an intermediate incidence of gastric cancer, with 10 to 20 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize that variations exist among different regions within the nation, according to the Journal of Gastroenterology of Mexico. In Mexico, epidemiological studies report that between 50% and 70% of the population is infected with helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacterium directly related to gastritis and gastric cancer that is responsible for 90% of gastritis cancer cases, as reported by MBN.